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Canada's Tragically Hip singer Gord Downie dies at 53

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Sooooo sad I wasn't in Kingston for the final performance, which I heard was absolutely heart-wrenching. Grew up with the Hip, especially in Kingston, and loved Downie's solo work with Coke Machine Glow as well (The Chancellor is one of my favorite songs), and while this death was coming and all Hip fans and many Canucks in general knew it, it is indeed a sad loss. RIP, Gordon. You will be missed.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I met him once at a small bar in Toronto about 25 years ago, just sitting next to each other on the stools. We had a good chat about hockey, university education and other stuff. Only when I had asked him what it was that he did for a living did he mention that he had recently been recording an album in the studio. Upon hearing that I did a double take, looked at his face a little closer, and asked him if he was Gord Downie. He grinned and asked me what kind of music I was into...

A really decent guy with no airs. Cheers to you Gord.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

New Orleans is sinking man, and I don't wanna swim.

RIP Gord.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I'm Australian, but I spent a very, very good 12 months living in Victoria BC in 1999/2000, and Phantom Power seemed to be the soundtrack to that wonderful year. I'd never really heard of them until then, but Bobcaygeon remains an absolute ripper of a song. So evocative, so atmospheric.

I'm very sorry to hear this news.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Canadians everywhere are feeling this loss. Fan or not, every single one of us has Gord to thank for at least one special moment throughout our lives.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Canadians everywhere are feeling this loss.

Well I'm not, even though I'm a born-and-bred Canadian, and currently live in Kingston. One of our local radio stations played nothing but The Hip all day yesterday and re-christened itself "Radio Gord". I appreciate Downie for his thoughfulness and passion, and the whole band for keeping their hometown roots and approachability, but can't say that their music does much for me (even though I'm probably smack dab in their target demographic).

The outpouring of grief reminds me a bit of when other celebrities have died (e.g. Princess Diana), and I would rather see sustained commitments to social change and reconciliation with First Nations than a trendy and fleeting wallow in shallow sentiment.

And you know what? I bet Gord would too.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I think your wrong Gramie. Everyone has the right to morn the lose of a true Canadian treasure. I think Gord would appreciate the outpouring of love and affection for him.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@runner3, I agree that everyone has the right to mourn Gord. I know Rob Baker slightly and have no doubt that he and other family and friends are deeply feeling the loss.

I'm saying that if people want to honour his life, and the brave way he faced death, then they should take up one of the causes he championed so effectively. Volunteer, donate, organize, lobby. But if it ends up just being a bunch of upvotes and likes and other social media bull****, as usually happens, then they might as well not bother.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

We as Canadians have lost the voice of a generation... RIP Gord

3 ( +3 / -0 )

They never seemed to get exposure in the US. I don't know why since I thought they were good enough for alternative radio or MTV. They were compared to R.E.M. I lived in northern Vermont and listened to the Montreal radio station CHOM in the late evenings after I got back from the college library, when the reception was better. I went out and bought whatever album they had around 1995/1996. I liked their single "Grace, too", and "Looking for a Place to Happen".

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I first saw them play in Columbus in 1998. I thought they were similar to REM as well, and the problem was/is that American media is restrictive and run by people who have no idea what music is about and just "decide" what us Americans want to hear. I really liked their album "Music @ Work" which is just that, and it came out when there was virtually NOTHING worth listening to on US radio (2000). Also, at their gigs there was always someone flapping that big Ontario flag around back and forth. Of course, that's all part of what made the Hip as uniquely Canadian as Neil Young, Bruce Cockburn and RUSH. Forget about Celine Dion and Justin Bieber, this Canadian ROCK is the real deal, folks. Good musicality, intelligent lyrics but never on the "preachy" side, with the band's own unique originality - what more could you ask for, especially at the turn of the millennium when there was so much garbage that nobody wants to remember now. RIP Gordon. You made your mark in history and you will always be 'HIP'.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Now I remember. They had that weird cover on the album that came out in 1992. They did get airplay on college radio in upstate New York in Ithaca, at WICB in Ithaca College. Youtube is good. You can check out live in San Francisco in 2009 at the Fillmore playing Courage acoustic as the crowd sings along.

Also live in Syracuse, same year.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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